Labor Conflict and Capitalist Hegemony in Argentina

The Case of the Automobile Industry,1990-2007


Labor Conflict and Capitalist Hegemony in Argentina delves into the dynamics of labor conflict during a decisive moment in the history of Neoliberalism and its crisis. How did workers react to labor flexibilization, market reforms and massive layoffs? In what way were employers able to keep hold of industrial hegemony during the crisis of Neoliberalism? This book explores these questions from a Marxian approach on peripheral capitalist countries with the aim of contributing to a new conceptualization of labor relations, labor history and collective class action. The analysis focuses on the automotive industry in Argentina between 1990 and 2007 although framed in broader temporal dynamics. Labor conflict and capitalist hegemony in Argentina relata la dinámica del conflicto laboral en el período crucial de la historia del neoliberalismo y su crisis. ¿Cómo reaccionaron los trabajadores frente a la flexibilización laboral, las reformas de mercado y los despidos masivos? ¿De qué modo los empresarios mantuvieron la hegemonía industrial en la crisis del neoliberalismo? El libro formula las preguntas a partir de una aplicación del análisis marxiano para los países periféricos capitalistas. Sobre esta base se propone una conceptualización novedosa de las relaciones laborales, la historia sindical y la acción colectiva de clase. El análisis está enfocado en la industria automotriz argentina entre 1990 y 2007 aunque enmarcado en dinámicas temporales más amplias.
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Biographical Note

Agustin Santella holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (2009) and Master’s Degree from FLACSO (2002). He is a researcher at the National Council of Science and Technology and at the “Gino Germani” Research Institute, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures List of Abbreviations Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. What are Trade Unions in Marxist theory? 3. Capital and Class Formation: on Postone and van der Linden 4. General Strikes in 20th Century in Argentina 5. The Debate about Trade Union Bureaucracy 6. Labor Relations and Conflict in the Automobile Sector 7. Workers during the Crisis 1998-2002 8. Contention Dynamics in Fiat and Ford (Further Discussion on Concepts) 9. Cycles of Protest with No Revolutionary Situations, 1958 – 2001 10. Labor Conflict in the 2000s 11. Hegemonic Despotism and Labor Relations in the Automobile Sector 12. Conclusions References Author Index Subject Index


All interested in industrial relations under contemporary capitalism, especially in peripheral countries, as well as in collective action and labor contention.